It’s Time To Ditch The Term “Sexual Purity”.


I’d like you to meet someone, Visitors.

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This is Beauty Beyond Bones. (beautybeyondbones.com) She’s a stunning, young Christian woman who writes a blog about her life, which starts with a very dark description of her bout with anorexia.

Visitors, her story is friggin’ terrifying. I had no idea. For those of us in helping professions, I’d like to steer you to her blog, where she eloquently writes about the depth of self-loathing, self-hatred and utter despair that lashed her mercilessly during her battle for her life. Beauty, as we shall call her, entered an inpatient eating disorders clinic at 5′ 6″ and 78 lbs. She was so skeletal that all of her inpatient medical personnel were on a death watch for this kid, and were surprised when she woke up each morning. She had depleted ALL of her fat stores, including the ones that protected her brain and vital organs. Her body was feeding on her muscles- the biggest concern being that her body would start to devour her heart, and it would stop. Horrifying.

Read here for a heartwrenching description of Beauty’s raging battle with profound dysmorphia. (https://beautybeyondbones.com/2015/03/) Brace yourself, this is a very difficult read. She’s a victorious delight now, and writes about her artistic endeavors in NYC.

Beauty is a true, powerful warrior of the Lord. With the help of the Spirit of God, daily she vanquishes the inner voice of torment that works so hard to convince her that she is unloved, a burden, a parasite, and the world would be a better place without her.

Beauty recently wrote a  troubling column detailing her commitment to her future husband. She wants to preserve her sexuality as a magnificent gift reserved only for the man God is preparing for her.

Read this one, Visitors, there’s something off here.  (https://beautybeyondbones.com/2016/06/13/v-card/.)  Did you catch that? Beauty is a committed Christian woman, yet somehow she’s saddled with the idea that obedience to God’s direction for sexual exclusivity is somehow weird. Granny panties-orthopedic shoes- six cats at home weird. Conspicuous, somehow unnatural, weird.

What’s up with that? What did we, fellow Christians, have to do with adding to, or lightening that burden that weighs on Beauty?

I’d like you to meet someone else, Visitors. Her name is Diane, and I met her through a shared interest in dance.

Diane was blindsided by a recent divorce. She’s the same age as me, and had been married for the same 23 years. Diane was very engaging to me for many reasons. One of which was that her husband presented as if he were an abuse survivor, a topic that they never broached during their marriage. Predictably, physical intimacy was a challenge for Diane and her husband,  one that became insurmountable and eventually was the tipping point that ended the marriage.

Diane was devastated by this. She simply didn’t see it coming. When her husband abruptly had her served with papers, she was plunged into an ice-cold, isolating eddy of despair.

Physically, Diane is one of the most stunning examples of humanity I have seen. She’s an eight time IronMan athlete, her full head of chestnut hair sprinkled with becoming touches of grey. Running is her specialty, she habitually brings home Firsts in her age group in any race she participates. She’s nationally ranked, and coaches running groups of lesser athletes with humor and grace.

I helped Diane pick out some clothes for a student production at her studio. For me, it was a blast to peruse shocking pinks and lively blues and talk about tailoring items to flatter her unusually fit physique.

Diane could hardly stand it. As we got to know each other better, I would be very direct with Diane.

“Di, look at this dress.  It makes your shoulders look great! Your legs look fabulous in this one, and this one makes you look smoking hot all the way around!”  With every observation, Diane seemed to withdraw, to pull farther into herself. It was as if, in her fifth decade, any aspect of healthy sexuality was somehow taboo, off limits for even adult women to discuss. What’s up with that? Two fellow Christians, talking about sexuality-related things. Why should this be hard?

Like all of my post-40, newly divorced friends, Diane was floundering. Everything she thought she knew to be true had been rocked by this profound rejection.  Diane was ashamed of her life,  ashamed of her failed marriage, and doubted God’s love for her.

Privately, sexual intimacy loomed in front of Diane as a solution. If she could find another man to ‘love’ her in this way, someone with whom she could share her most intimate desires, perhaps life would regain some sense of normalcy. Perhaps she would feel better.  Someone to fill her lonely days, someone to appreciate her athletic aspirations, maybe even someone with whom to share the second half of her life.

It is terribly hard for me to watch my divorced friends suffer like this.  Self deceit is a  trap like no other and Diane paid the price.

One freezing Colorado afternoon, I held her hand on the surgical table as the gentle doctor removed a portion of her intimate parts. I gave her tissues as she wept in lonely sorrow over another man who she thought had loved her, and had abandoned her to the ravages of a cancerous sexual infection he had given her.

Diane was alone, rejected,  again.

Christian Visitors,  how can we mitigate this, help ease this suffering of our own?  We simply must drop the shame, that will help.   We must unbind the language of cultural judgement, and attach our value to the word of God. ALL sin is created equal, ALL steps outside of God’s best break the heart of Jesus.  Beauty has enough on her plate without shame, and Diane is bone-tired and weary. We have to talk about these intimate things, and we have to do it in a healthy way.  Science and the Word of God tells us that sex is entangling, every single time. There is no such thing as ‘casual’ sex, ‘free’ sex, or ‘meaningless’ sex. That said, sexuality is a gift! ALL aspects of it!

Beauty, you are simply lovely in your slinky little  dress and stiletto heels. Your makeup is darling, and your fashion sense is impeccable! Diane, you’ve worked very hard on your body, and now, you are the picture of glowing health. Your athletic performance is reflected in your lovely form,  and  you are drop-dead gorgeous in cerulean blue.

American Christians, let’s look at this hurting population through the lens of unconditional love. There is no difference at all between Diane’s mistake and me holding a grudge, or getting angry for no good reason. We are ALL impure.  Jesus made us all righteous, if we allow it.  Let’s start looking at each other how Jesus does.

Much love,

Victoria

 

 

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5 thoughts on “It’s Time To Ditch The Term “Sexual Purity”.

  1. It is like I have just said to you on my own blog. I cannot judge or condemn. I know our sin, my sin. My sin is grievous. I work on it.

    And I also know my beauty, our beauty, physically, mentally, spiritually. We must value all the light in the darkness, and turn our eyes to the light. Think on these things: the strength and creativity of people, for we are made in the Image of God, and are like God Loving, Creative, Powerful, Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, just wow. My self esteem is low, but the self loathing of Beauty is heart wrenching. Oh my.
    I admire Christians who are faithful and true in their actions. I used to be a devout Christian. Then my 10 yr old daughter (she’s 37 now) was raped and molested for a year by one of our church elders and they sent us away to avoid a scandal. I have been reporting pedophiles for 13 1/2 years and the utter depravity I have seen is horrifying. Trafficing, slavery, nepi porn, rape, explotation, death, abuse…I can’t square that with a loving god. “Suffer the little children” is right. I just read about a case where 46-year-old Edward Bagley Sr. of Lebanon, Missouri took the mentally challenged woman in as a 16-year-old girl, would trade her to his friends for things like cigarettes and steaks, would electrocute and torture her and broadcast it on the internet, made her sign what she thought was a legally binding document making her Bagley’s slave and lastly he had her vagina sewn shut. (OMG) Bagley is/was married and his wife was in on it as well.
    My point is, I’ve learned to rely on myself. No god is going to save me, the children, the Jews in Auschwitz, etc. Where does the any god look when a child is being tortured? At daisys? I am not saying he causes evil but he doesn’t do anything about it. It takes people caring because they want to to fight for the children and against man’s inhumanity to man. It’s exhausting but it must be done.
    I feel compassion for Beauty, I would love to encourage her and help her in any way I could. Not because of fear of hellfire or the promise of heaven, but because my heart tells me to. I draw no comfort from the scriptures anymore, although I think Jesus was amazing but as with all good men, he was killed horribly. How low do we have to go as a species before god or aliens or some higher power says “enough is enough?”
    Sorry, that was intense to reveal my feelings like that. I guess I miss being able to say god will fix things. Beauty is broken as are many people. I truly hope she is happy and realizes loving yourself is the first step. Sorry for the rant. No Christian has been able to make me believe that I need god in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sirkissa, you are completely allowed, and it is my privilege to know you. I value your input greatly.
      There are many, many things in my Christian life that I can’t really square, either. I don’t understand the difference between things that God designs, and the things that He permits. I think people like you and I stand in the gap for these utterly horrifying things, and He does actually ask us to hold a light up to these staggering abuses.
      Why He doesn’t take things in hand is a mystery to me. My husband died horribly, He could have healed him. Your daughter was defenseless, He could have defended her.
      Legions of children are abused daily, and it seems like He stands back with His hands folded.
      Did you ever wonder “why” about a lot of things, Sirkissa?
      Like this, I wonder why I’m healthy. Maybe to spend my energy on someone who isn’t?
      I wonder why I have a surplus of funds. Maybe to spend it on someone who lacks?
      I wonder why I have this drive to figure out how to contribute to solving this problem? Maybe because I can be part of the solution.
      This is one thing I know. Jesus wept. He wants us to weep, he wants us to stand up for the powerless and lead these little lambs away from the slaughter. I am glad you and I are in this together.

      Like

      • Sirkissa, I was sexually abused as a child and the feelings of shame followed me for many many years. My family did not go to church so I was never part of that culture growing up. I fell in love with Jesus at 14 but my journey with fitting in with Christians is an uncomfortable one. I think part of the reason why is because I take a more blunt approach to issues like this. I am grateful for Victoria’s openness here!

        Victoria, I laughed when I saw your picture that was attached to your last post! I knew it would stir the pot with your Christian friends and I was curious to see what people would say. Sexual sin is almost equal in numbers within the church than without. The major difference is that people either hide it or ignore it. I think what can result can be either a harsh judgmentalism of others because of the personal hiding of sexual “misadventures” (personally chosen or inflicted abuse) or a lax attitude that ignores any need for personal purity. I think either extreme is unhealthy. If we judge, how can we help people like Diane heal? The sexual tragedies and pain from past mistakes is growing. It’s a reality! We should be fighting the injustices and standing beside victims in loving, tender support!! Also, if we treat the existence of things like affairs or premarital sex in the church with an averted eye, we become hypocrites. What makes our message any different or more life-saving from all the other messages out there? We become weak and we limit our ability to help people because our personal integrity is compromised. I like how you are real, Victoria. Thank you!

        Sirkissa (love this name!), if ever you could get ahold of a “red letter” Bible, you might enjoy it. Since I didn’t grow up among people who went to church, I had a hard time understanding the Bible. When I discovered that there are Bibles out there that put everything Jesus said in red letters, I sought those out for many years. It made it easy to see Jesus because I would open my Bible and focus on those red letters only and pass over all the “clutter.” After awhile, I would start to read the red letters and try to understand the rest of the story around the red words but I really enjoyed Jesus just by himself for a long time. Jesus says He will reveal Himself to those who seek after Him. You might enjoy holding Him to that promise to see what He will do — without all the “clutter.” ((BIG hug for all that you have endured)) It shows what a strong, caring person you are that you can be so open here. It is so hard to get to that point…and, heartbreakingly, many women don’t. 😥 We can’t support each other if we hide.

        Liked by 1 person

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